“Let us learn to live with Covid” says Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Covid restrictions to end in England from 24 February

Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons about Covid restrictions winding down.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

All Covid restrictions will be lifted in England from 24 February. Consequently, all steps in the Coronavirus roadmap will be complete.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, 21 February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Because of the efforts we have made as a nation, we are moving from government restrictions to personal responsibility so we protect ourselves without losing our liberties.

While the pandemic is not over, we have now passed the peak of the Omicron wave with cases falling, hospitalisations are now fewer than 10,000, and the link between infection and severe disease substantially weakened. We now have sufficient levels of immunity to complete the transition from protecting people with government interventions to relying on vaccines and treatments as our first line of defence."

From 24 February, all remaining domestic restrictions will be removed in law. This means all legal requirements to self-isolate following a positive test will end. Contact tracing will also be removed, and fully-vaccinated close contacts will no longer need to test daily for seven days. 

All Delfont Mackintosh theatres in London will remove the obligation for theatregoers to wear masks, but will continue to encourage theatregoers to wear them. Delfont Mackintosh theatres include the Gielgud Theatre, Noel Coward Theatre, Novello Theatre, Prince Edward Theatre, Prince of Wales Theatre, Sondheim Theatre, Victoria Palace Theatre and Wyndham's Theatre.

ATG theatres in London will stop asking for Covid status certification. ATG theatres include Ambassadors Theatre, Duke of York's Theatre, Fortune Theatre, Harold Pinter Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Savoy Theatre, and Trafalgar Theatre. 

Covid status certification will continue in place at Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre.

LW theatres will not ask for Covid status certification, but ask patrons to wear masks. LW theatres in London include the Adelphi Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Gillian Lynne Theatre, Her Majesty's Theatre, London Palladium, and Theatre Royal Drury Lane. 

Until 1 April, the government will advise people who test positive to stay at home. After that, the government will encourage people with Covid symptoms to exercise personal responsibility.

From 1 April, you will no longer need to use voluntary Covid-status certification. However, the NHS app will allow people to indicate their vaccination status. The government will also expire all temporary provisions of Coronavirus Act. 

"Levels of immunity are so high that we can lift these restrictions. It's because we know Omicron is less severe that testing for Omicron is much less important and less valuable in preventing serious illness. Covid will not suddenly disappear. Let us learn to live with this virus and continue protecting ourselves and others without restricting our freedoms." said Johnson.

It's been a long road to get to a point where theatre however theatres will soon be able to open with no restrictions. At the moment, West End theatres are open at full capacity, but audiences are required to wear face masks indoors, prove a Covid-negative status, and move around the theatre in a one way system. Here are the West End shows that currently require vaccinations and Covid tests. 

Theatres first closed in March 2020. Theatres then cautiously reopened in December 2020 for a few weeks until theatres were forced to shut with a new national lockdown. All West End theatres reopened their doors in 2021 with full-capacity performances and socially-distanced performances. 

It's a great time to see West End theatre too. London Theatre Week tickets are on sale now, with tickets from just £15 on over 40 West End shows. Check out London Theatre Week tickets in London.

Originally published on

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